Put the dry ingredients marked ○ in a bowl, keeping the salt and sugar away from each other.
(Prep) Bring the margarine to room temperature because if it's cold, it will affect the dough.
Microwave the milk to 40℃, even in summer! If you don't have this heat setting, microwave a few seconds at a time at 600 W ♪ It should be warm to the touch (the temperature is important).
Pour the heated milk over the the yeast, and mix together. It'll be sticky at first, but it'll eventually come together.
It'll be better to knead on a workspace, but you could also knead inside the bowl. Keep stretching and folding the dough multiple times for about ten minutes.
It will come together as shown in the photo. Add the margarine and continue kneading.
The dough that has finally come together is all sticky again. No worries, just keep kneading patiently!
The dough will gradually become softer, and when it comes together, hold the edges, then stretch and pound it against the bowl. Repeat for about 10 minutes.
When the dough starts to look smooth, it's ready! They say that dough should be stretchy, but I think that's hard to achieve.
Cover with plastic wrap and place a damp towel or paper towel on top. In summer, let rise for about 1 hour. In winter, use your microwave's bread-rising function for 40 minutes at 30℃.
I let mine rise for a long time. You can use your microwave's bread-rising setting, or add more yeast to speed up the process, but I enjoy watching it slowly expand.
It's finished rising when it's 2 - 2.5 times its original size. The more often you make it, the easier you'll be able to see if the dough is good or bad at this point.
Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a work surface. Punch down the dough by firmly pressing it with your finger tips.
Divide the dough using a bench scraper. I'm not fussy, but if you want to make the rolls the same size, weigh the portions before rolling them into balls.
Pull the dough to smoothen the surface and neaten the seams on the bottom. Pretend you're using your fingertips to pat them on the head.
Be sure to close the seams tightly. The tops should look like the photo. Nice and smooth.
Let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and cover with a damp towel or paper towel on top.
When the dough looks like the photo, it's time for the second rising!
Lightly punch down the dough and re-roll them into balls (see Steps 15 and 16).
Gently roll the balls around to make the bottoms smooth. Place your palms on the counter and roll them with one hand.
Place the balls on an oven tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel, as in Step 18, and let rise for 90 minutes. In winter, use your microwave's bread-rising function for 40 minutes at 35℃.
When the balls have doubled in size, pre-heat the oven to 200℃. Brush on a glaze while you wait. ♪
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 200℃. Please adjust the baking time according to your oven.
Your simple bread rolls are done!
In Step 22, you could put the balls in a cake tin instead...
To make a flower-shaped bread. Bake at 180℃ for 12-15 minutes.
Easy to eat, just tear off the piece.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a recipe I settled on after many failures. When I want to be particular about the bread, this is the recipe I always go by! The dough rises faster in the summertime, so it's ready when it has doubled in size. The extra effort makes for incredible bread.
Yeast is activated at around 40℃, so be sure to heat the milk or water to this temperature, even in summer. Soften the margarine a bit before adding it. Well risen dough makes good bread. Enjoy kneading the dough by hand. Don't think about it too much. When you have all the ingredients, just go for it!